Ulcers usually develop as a result of underlying medical conditions. Non-healing foot ulcers occur when something interferes with your body’s healing abilities, causing the skin to break down and an open wound to form.
If you develop a foot ulcer, prompt evaluation is imperative. Here at CA Heart and Vein Specialists, heart and circulatory specialist Dr. Majed Chane provides exceptional leg ulcer care. Dr. Chane works closely with you to treat your leg ulcer and reduce future risk.
Here, we discuss four of the most common reasons that non-healing leg ulcers develop.
1. Issues with circulation
The circulatory system delivers oxygen-rich blood and nutrients throughout your body. These nutrients help keep tissue healthy. When circulation is impaired, feet are frequently the first to show signs of trouble, which is why it’s crucial to inspect them daily.
Even if you find no sign of an ulcer upon examination, any irregularities, such as pain, numbness, or discoloration on the legs or feet, may be indicative of a condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Dr. Chane can assess your risk of PAD and help you avoid ulcers and other complications of a weakened circulatory system.
2. Damage to nerves
Patients with circulatory problems, diabetes, alcoholism, or atherosclerosis are at an increased risk of nerve damage. When nerves are healthy, they send signals to the brain when something causes pain or discomfort.
However, damaged nerves may fail to relay information about pain. This means that you can cut your foot or stub your toe and might not feel pain or realize it happened. This failure to signal the brain makes patients at risk for injuries that go unnoticed, over time these injuries can develop into open wounds.
3. Prolonged or excess pressure on the feet
Ill-fitting shoes can cause problems, particularly for patients who have underlying issues like nerve damage, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Ulcers are a sign that an underlying problem needs addressing. Managing the underlying condition is crucial for reducing the risk of complications such as foot ulcers. A circulatory specialist can recommend management strategies, such as medication, a healthy diet, exercise, and proper weight management, which can often significantly reduce the risk of ulcers.
4. Lifestyle factors
Because of its damaging effects on circulation, smoking raises the risk of a variety of health issues, including PAD.
Ulcers can form when there is constant pressure on one area for an extended period of time. Prolonged bed rest or a sedentary lifestyle can cause this type of pressure and promote ulcer formation.
Infection is a major risk factor for ulcers. It can develop at any stage, and, if left untreated, infection can lead to serious complications such as gangrene and amputation.
Don’t delay treatment
If you discover a wound on your or a loved one’s feet that’s not healing, contact a circulatory specialist right away. If blood vessels become clogged, a PAD specialist can determine the best course of action to restore blood flow to the affected area.
Don’t delay in seeking evaluation and treatment if you have an ulcer that isn’t healing. Early intervention is vital. When foot ulcers are detected early, treatment options are less invasive. Healing can’t occur unless prompt action is taken to restore oxygen-rich blood delivery to the ulcerated area.
If you have a foot ulcer, or you are concerned about your risk of developing a foot ulcer, reach out to our team to schedule a visit with Dr. Chane for an evaluation. We have an office located in Huntington Beach, California. Book an appointment over the phone or online today.